Ullswater from Swineside Knott

Swineside Knott

Route: Swineside Knott

Area: Eastern Lake District

Date of walk: 7th February 2020

Walkers: Andrew 

Distance: 4.0 miles

Ascent: 1,000 feet

Weather: Sunshine and blue skies, very windy on the tops

Swineside Knott is the highest point on Watermillock Common at a respectable height of 1,814 feet. It doesn’t qualify as a Wainwright fell as it’s merely part of the eastern ridge of Stybarrow Dodd. I was last here almost exactly a year ago and, although the weather was indifferent, I’d seen enough to know that the views of Ullswater from here are superb. I promised myself that I’d return in better weather, and today was that day. There was sun and blue skies as I drove to the east of the district, where I parked in the National Trust car park at Park Brow, near Aira Force

I crossed the road following a sign for Glencoyne Head to start the ascent, which was so gentle in the early stages that it was hardly noticeable. It was good to see a red squirrel scampering up a tree during along the way. This is one of the best paths for viewing Ullswater, and the views improve as height is gained. 

Eventually I arrived at a dry stone wall and a gate, which marked a change of direction. I followed the dry stone wall below Swineside Knott for a short distance, and pondered whether to climb to the highest point, which is a 5 minute pathless but easy ascent. In the event I decided to give it a miss, as I was trying a new route back and this would have meant a detour. Last time here I’d descended via Common Fell and Dockray, but today I tried a shorter route. The path was beside a rollercoaster dry stone wall, with more wonderful views of Ullswater all the way down. I made a short detour to the viewpoint of Round How, a perfect picnic spot in normal weather, but today I could hardly stand up in the teeth of the fierce wind, so didn’t linger there

After passing through a gate I arrive above Brunt Crag. It’s possible to descend directly beside the wall, but there’s a very steep rocky section lower down and as the rocks were wet and slippery I walked above the crag and found an easier pathless way down. I followed a sodden grassy track round Park Brow and this brought me back down to the car park, and the end of a superb walk

During the course of nearly three hours, I’d enjoyed almost constant views of Ullswater and I hadn’t seen another soul

Previous time here

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